Boss Beauties Who Brunch Brand Building Mixer

Hello Lovely,

This past Wednesday, The Boss Beauties Who Brunch, comprised of local media moguls, TAP and Lavonne Alexis held their second mixer dedicated to Brand Building. The event was held at Halcyon Restaurant on Charlotte Street and it was jam packed with female entrepreneurs. Although I knew some of the women in the room, it was great to see so many new faces in the industry.

We learned amazing tips from Lamysha Cox, a local attorney on how to protect yourself in business. Here’s a quick recap of the tips:

  1. Secure Your Identity
  2. Get It In Writing
  3. Read Everything
  4. Get Help When You Need It
  5. Zip It (Be careful who you reveal your plans to)
  6. Mind Your Behavior
  7. Do Due Diligence

Then we heard from Jazzie Belle on the theme, "Create Don't Wait". Jazzie Belle Is the host of the Women In Hip-Hop Podcast, and an emerging media personality. She started Jazzie Belle TV by interviewing celebrities in the hallway of the radio station she interned at. Jazzie Belle dished on the lack of respect shown to women in the industry, dressing appropriately, dating within the industry, collaboration over competition,  and racism.

A fun aspect that I think should be added next time is a dance break. I love the professional mixer theme but we're still so young for such a stiff environment. Nothing wrong with mixing and dancing, right? The only thing I did not like about the event was the lighting! It was horrible! Most of my photos had the ugly yellow tint or were completely unusable because the slightest movement meant a blurry photo. I wish more Bahamian restaurants and bars would understand the importance of good lighting. In a digital age where everyone wants to be able to say they attended an event at your spot, it's really important to have a good quality photo. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to events but I never shared any photos because the lighting meant a horrible photo.

I can't wait until their next mixer event, which is planned to be a brunch next month! Stay tuned!

How To Be a Boss Without Being a Bitch

Hello Lovely,

I’ve never thought of myself as a boss. Sure I see myself as a leader, but I never liked the title “boss”. It could’ve been due to the narrative I heard as a child that “bossy girls” are bad and no one likes them. Another part of it is I believe that leaders are meant to inspire, while bosses simply order you around without concern for your wellbeing. Lately I’ve been loving how women have reclaimed the boss title and now many women are proud to be called a “Girl Boss.” However, being a girl boss means that sometimes you’re going to have to say or do some tough stuff that may rub some people the wrong way. Yesterday was one of those days for me. As the creative producer in my church, I had to give some tough feedback to fellow volunteers. If you ever find yourself having to make hard-hitting decisions regarding employees, co-workers etc. here are 3 tips to help you to be a boss without being a bitch.

1.      Revise your language

The way you word a sentence marks a clear distinction between boss and bitch. You want to make a point, not alienate a crowd. Now is the time to be direct without being overly critical. Your tone should be even, not harsh; so that the person knows you’re coming from a good place and not on a Prozac withdrawal.

2.      Be constructive, not destructive

Okay, so they messed up. Like really messed up. And maybe you’ve tried to help them in the past but they’re insubordinate and insist on going off script. This is where your language can either help or hurt. Body language plays a role in this too; watch how you hold yourself. That lets the person know what you think about them. Remember you want to inspire them to do better, not kick them while they’re down. If there are any strengths you can point out, include that. Maybe their performance is being affected by personal struggles. Give them some pointers so they’ll know how to improve. If this is the last straw for you and there’s no room for improvement, let them know what it was about their performance that was so disappointing for you and how it has affected the team and the company. Even if you’re terminating this relationship, the constructive criticism will help them in future positions (if they take anything you say to heart).

3.      Learn how to trust

I added this point for myself. This is an area I am genuinely struggling in. If I know something needs to be done, I tend to not tell someone else in detail because I assume they won’t do it the way I want it done. I always struggle with letting go of control and trusting that my team really can do the job. The best way to ensure your vision is brought to fruition is to train those around; this will eliminate the need to micro-manage and correct anyone.

Being a Girl Boss is all about being true to yourself. We all have struggles and we all have moments where we cross that fine line into bitchland. The key is to know when to reel it all back in, re-evaluate and always knowing how to accept when you yourself have messed up. Because no matter how important what you have to say is, no one is going to hear you if it comes out wrong.

XoX,

Oreo Cupcakes

Hello Lovely,

On Friday we celebrated the vice principal’s birthday with a surprise birthday party in the office because it’s her first birthday with us as vice principal. She was so surprised she almost cried! I made her a birthday card and got it signed by all of the teachers, and these AMAZING cupcakes! I really outdid myself on this one! Sure they take some time to make (especially when you’re operating out of a toaster oven, so you have to use a mini cupcake pan because the regular cupcake pan is too big to fit and you made enough batter for 16 cupcakes) but they’re totally worth it!

I’m so mad that I forgot my camera that morning so I had to take all of the photos with my cell phone and believe me, I am not cell phone photographer! Something as simple as getting the right angle confuses me but I did my best to show you guys how good and tasty these cupcakes are!

Oh, they are SO good.  What makes them extra good is the “frosting.”  It is less like frosting and more like a fluffy cheesecake. I surprised myself by making this frosting because it’s something I’ve never been good at! But to see it turn out so well (for the most part) gave me an extra confidence boost! I just knew she was going to like them!

OREO CUPCAKES

For the cupcake

·        1 1/3 cups self-rising flour

·        ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

·        3 tablespoons applesauce

·        1 cup white sugar

·        2 eggs

·        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·        1 cup milk

For the frosting

·        1 package of cream cheese, 8oz. at room temp.

·        1 cups powder sugar

·        1 Tbsp vanilla

·        1 container of Cool Whip, 8oz. thawed

 

Directions

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, and cocoa. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.

3. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

4. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting.

5. Beat the cream cheese and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy.  Slowly add in the sugar while continuing to mix the cream cheese mixture.

6. On a low speed, add in the cool whip.

7. You may need to allow the frosting to set up in the refrigerator while the cupcakes continue to cool.  Make sure the cupcake are all the way cool before adding frosting.

8. Put your frosting in a pastry bag.

9. Stick the point of the pastry bag into the cupcake and squeeze a little frosting into the centre.  You will see the cupcake puff up.

10. Then frost the cupcakes like normal and sprinkle with crushed Oreo.

11. If you’d like, stick a piece of leftover Oreo in the frosting, for a little flair and extra cookie goodness.

TIP: Consume these almost immediately! I personally hate hard frosting. I like a soft, creamy frosting. But if you leave this at room temperature for too long, it'll melt and you won't be able to enjoy it, and if you put it in the fridge, well then, you'll just have a cold cupcake. And that's not fun!

What’s your perfect cupcake recipe? Will you try this at your next celebration? I sure hope so! Let me know in the comments section below!

Spring Into Action: How to Ask For What You Want

When I got my first real job out of college, I was an Administrative Assistant in a financial company with only 5 staff members. I knew nothing about finances, but having worked there a previous summer, it didn’t take me too long to catch on. In my interview, my soon to be boss told me that I would be making $1000 per month. Now we all know that is not a lot of money. Especially for a person with a lot of hobbies like myself. Made worse, I planned on enrolling in an online university to pursue my Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy and knew that would not be enough. But I didn’t want to get greedy. After all, I only had a Bachelor’s degree and no work experience. So I looked him in the eye and said, “Could I be paid $50 more?” It was so simple but that little question I asked made all the difference. The fact that I even dared to ask for more money made my boss respect me so much more. Ever since then, I’ve had a way of asking for things that almost guaranteed approval.

Whether it’s a raise, a boost in responsibilities, or even just a little time off, asking for what you want in the workplace can be one of the most difficult tasks on your to-do list. Now, I’m no Martha Stewart, but I have picked up a few tips and tricks that I can share with you today to help you go for it—and ask for what you want. After all, asking the tough questions, standing up for yourself, and being your own advocate is crucial for long-term success, happiness, and overall satisfaction at work. And, there’s no one in this world who knows what you want (and sometimes need) better than you do.  Now, let’s get into it…

Remember Your Value. If you don’t truly believe that you deserve that big promotion, no one else will. Remind yourself of all of your accomplishments, and run through a list of all of your positive assets. A little confidence boost can change the tone of any workplace conversation, and will allow you to voice your request in an assertive and poised manner. Think about what you’re asking for, and go over all of the reasons why you deserve it. Just like in my job interview, I was able to ask for more money because I knew I deserved it. When my boss could see that I was genuine and not backing down, he thought nothing of it to grant my request.

Body Language. Did you know that altering your body language even the tiniest bit can make you feel more powerful, confident and optimistic? Not only does your body language affect how others perceive you, but it can actually change the way that you think and feel about yourself. Be cautious of how you carry yourself. You want to be assertive but not so assertive that you put off the person you’re speaking to. So look your boss straight in the eye, sit a little taller, and use your body language to your advantage.

Be Gracious. This one is super important. Being gracious and asking for what you want in a calm, confident, and POSITIVE tone can make or break it. Most of the time, it’s not necessarily what you say, but how you say it. When asking for that well-deserved raise, make sure to acknowledge how grateful you are for the job you have, the opportunities it has provided you and the experience that you have gained. Even if my boss did not grant my request for a bigger salary, I would have been gracious and accepted the job any way.

Don’t Let a ‘No’ Bring You Down. This might be the most important piece of advice that I have to give you. Don’t let a ‘no’ determine your value, or veer you off your desired path. Every single one of us will hear the word ‘no’ more than once in our lifetime. It doesn’t mean that you should give up, or that you don’t deserve what you asked for. We need to think of as ‘no’ as incentive to keep up the hard work and continue to challenge yourself. You’ll get there eventually. Also, I’ve found that the most personal and professional growth has come from situations where I don’t get what I want, and I have to figure out creative ways to make things work.

Now, most of these tips and tricks not only apply to asking for what you want in the workplace, but also in your personal life. I’ve found that the most meaningful lessons that I’ve learned at work also translate to my everyday life.

Do you have any tried and true tips on how to ask for what you want in the workplace? Share them in the comments!

XoX,

Power Woman of the Week: Ria Georgina

The Bahamian Icon Awards may be over, but hype hasn't died yet! If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!

Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! I have the pleasure of calling her a friend so scoring this interview wasn't difficult but it was still a privilege to be able to sit down with her and talk about her and her brand! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!

Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

 

Her full, government name, according to her passport, is Kenria Geoginia Smith (side eye to the government worker who butchered her intended middle name of 'Georgina' so perfectly). At the young age of 29 she has been operating under the brand name Ria Georgina, since 2012. Kenria’s (Ria for short) grandmother used to sew and passed it on to her mother, whom she mostly learned the basics from. As she got older and started to gain more interest in fashion, she started to experiment with different techniques, purchase textbooks and everything else she pretty much learned from trial and error and, of course Youtube. I sat down with this Power Woman this week to talk about her Red Carpet debut and gain insight on who she is and what’s next for her brand.

How did it feel to design for 3 Bahamian Icon Nominees?   

It really didn't hit me until I started working on Leanne's dress (I had less than 24 hours to pull that together lol). I knew Leah and Leanne from Facebook, and Wendy is one of my newer clients, but I love all of their energy, so it felt pretty easy breezy as opposed to 'Holy crap, these are ICONS'.   It was my first red carpet as well, so watching the red carpet and the show was kind of surreal, especially when Leanne was asked who she was wearing and she said 'Ria Georgina'. I legitimately almost jumped out of my skin.

What is your personal development plan?  

I'm not a big planner, especially when it comes to things like running a business. I literally have no idea what I'm doing, but I know that I would be miserable if I were doing anything else.  For now, I just want to build my clientele and continue doing what I love and see where it takes me.

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Hmmm, probably the combination of the Love and Hip Hop series (all of them lol) and Twitter. It's so ratchet but I can't stop watching/tweeting. It's hilarious.

Who was your favourite person to design/style for and why? 

 And NOW you're trying to get me into trouble.   Generally speaking, I love designing for women who know what they want, come with reference photos, but are open to trying something different. I love when I can get to that sweet spot where the client trusts me completely, it's really quite the compliment.

What are the top three life lessons you've learned that have been the most helpful in your career?  

The main lesson I've learned is that not everyone is as honest as you may be. Just because I would never commission someone to make a dress and drop off the face of the earth without paying for it, doesn't mean that someone else won't. I had that happen to me more times than I'd like to admit.   I've also learned that if you don't love what you do, it won't matter how much money you make. I worked for a handful of people before finally deciding to try it on my own, and the same thing usually happened; I'd be happy the first few weeks because I could finally save up for something I may have wanted, but once I got it, I kind of felt unfulfilled, like I was missing something important. Money is nice to have in abundance, but to be honest, if the world never ran on currency, I would still be doing what I do now.   The third thing is that your client should NEVER see you panic. There are times when something is a bit too snug, or too short, and I can visibly see the panic in my clients' eyes. I always keep a cool head and reassure them that it's not the end of the world, and that it can be fixed. Because in most cases, it can. Things go wrong all the time, but it's the way that we handle it that people usually remember.

Name someone you would really like to work with. Why?  

I have a designer bucket list that I constantly add to, but if I had to pick one person right now, it would be Emma Stone. She's one of my favorite redheads and I love that she likes to stand out on the Red Carpet. Plus she would be so much fun to hang out with.

What are the top three life lessons you would pass on to someone else?   

First, I would advise them not to take failures and the word 'no' as the end of the road. None of these things are permanent unless we let it be.  Also, I'd tell them to not let the way the world treats you change you for the worse. If you are a positive person, hold on to that. If you're a video game enthusiast way into your 30's, own it. The world needs diversity.   Finally, I would encourage them to travel and learn as much as you can about as many places as you can, while you can.

You run into a potential client in the elevator/coffee shop and you only have 60 seconds to sell yourself. Go!

Hmmm. Well at least 20 of that 60 seconds would be wasted on me just going back and forth in my head about whether or not I should even approach them. If it's someone who's in the public eye, I'd ask them if they were so-and-so and then I'd say something like 'Awesome, I really appreciate what you do for (insert charity here). My name is Kenria Smith, I'm a local designer and stylist, and I'd love to work with you for your next event.' Then I'd give them my card and let the rest sort itself out. I'm not an aggressive human.

 What's next for Ria Georgina?  

I'm currently working on some pieces for an upcoming music video (I won't say who yet), and after that, I will be winging it. I'm open to whatever opportunities this profession has waiting for me.